Why Darkness In Our Lives Brings Forth Transformation

Yep, it is another Thursday. Not just any Thursday, but the first Thursday after the summer solstice. I have always found it ironic, or maybe that’s unfortunate, that the longest day of the year bookmarks the first day of summer rather then the heart of summer. The solstice is a symbol of new beginnings, of change, evolution and growth.  As the sun shares it’s rays on these long warm days we are reminded of the power the light. The light outside, but also the light within. It is in contrast to the dark days of winter. Which is perfectly connected to what I wanted to share with you today.

 

Earlier this week I was out in my garden. It wasn’t just any day, but our first day of summer. It was a beautiful afternoon. The warm sun danced on my skin while the birds sang me sweet songs. As I started to pick the raspberries it occurred to me that this source of life, beauty and abundance had been dormant not long ago. Yes, they had been dormant during the winter, but they actually had been lying dormant for many seasons prior.

You see, a few years ago a friend of mine gave me about a dozen raspberry canes from their garden. These brambles were starting to take over their yard, and they needed to do some thinning. They took controlled measures to remove what was no longer needed, and what was running rampant, out of control.

 

I happily took these determined pieces of life and planted them in my garden. Giving them a new start, giving them hope. A place to flourish and grow and be as determined as they possibly could be.  A year passed, nothing happened. Another year passed and only a few canes emerged from the soil.  It appeared that they were suffering. Were they struggling from lack of light? Maybe it was lack of love, attention, and nourishment?

 

This year our raspberry plants are thriving! As I picked each berry I thanked it. I told the plants how beautiful and strong they were. I reminded them that their hard work had paid off. That I was grateful. 

 

It turns out that for the last couple of years, while I thought the plants were dying, they were actually growing. Spreading their roots and building a foundation. They were allowing the canes it no longer needed to fade away. They were doing deep inner work. Learning to trust in their new environment. Reconnecting with their ability to flourish. To grow. To live.  

I think this is such a beautiful portrayal of the human journey toward inner healing.  It turns out it isn’t just a human thing, it is a part of nature.  We all must go into our darkness to find our light. We must connect with our essence and truth to find trust in our potential and our purpose.  We must grow in ways that others may not see or understand before our light can be seen.  It may appear as suffering, it may actually be a struggle. Sometimes support and love is needed to help nourish and nurture the growth. When one is willing to do the difficult inner work, those around reap the benefits.

 

What a beautiful reminder, sometimes in order to grow we must be willing to let a part of us die.  We may need to let go of some beliefs or behaviors. We must learn to live in a new place or in a new way.  The process may take more time then we expect, and yet nature doesn't care about time.

 

We must dig deep. 

In order to expand outward we must gather inward. 

There is a reward for your labor. Sweet, succulent fruit.

 

May your roots grow deep and wide.

May you be willing to let go of what you no longer need.

May you find strength within to grow, even if just one cane at a time.